Today, Internet users are looking for, consuming and distributing digital content differently than five years ago. Fundamental changes in the way information is consumed occurred as a result of the rapid development of social networks and the emergence of mobile gadgets.
Social media has become both a distribution channel and an effective information filter. They significantly increase content consumption due to social cues and sharing.
Moreover, the popularity of the material among users of social networks has become an important signal for the largest search engines. "Likes" and sharing increase the position of resources in the search results, increasing the number of views of content.
The growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers also has a strong influence on the ways in which digital content is consumed, which we wrote about here. Internet users are not just consume more information. They have the ability to do this anytime and anywhere - on the go, in transport, in the line for shopping and so on. This is convenient for both ordinary users and marketers, right?
But not everything is so simple. People get filtered information through social channels. And as filters are familiar from social networks and experts. Check out your news feeds on Facebook or Vkontakte to understand what is being said.
Marketers must ensure that their messages hit the news feeds of target users. To do this, the information must pass through the mentioned filters, and also receive a lot of social signals. And if this does not happen, specific users consume less of your content, despite an increase in the total amount of information consumed.
Currently, content marketing is the most effective method of delivering information to users of social networks and search engines. This method involves the creation of informative content that engages people in interaction with the business and forces them to share the information with friends.
How 1% of the audience ensures the effectiveness of content marketing
The effectiveness of content marketing is provided by 1% of the audience. We are talking about people who after reading recommend your content to their friends and acquaintances in one way or another. Usually these are users with a large number of social connections, who to some extent are experts in the field, corresponding to the subject of your materials. They like and share your content, finding it useful for friends.
These users are key followers of your brand. They take on the role of a marketing agent. Please note, key followers distribute your content only if it is really high quality from their point of view.
According to some brands, key followers provide from 20 to 70% of new user engagement with businesses. This result is superior to paid advertising performance. In fact, key followers often become the main source of traffic to brand communities on social networks and even to their sites. In addition, key followers are a source of conversion traffic. In particular, they participate in 30% of conversions on the brand’s website, simply recommending a product to their friends.
As noted above, social cues also affect the position of the site in search results. Thus, key followers help you increase your organic search traffic.
After reading this information, you probably want to identify your key followers and get to know them better. Indeed, this is a good idea. And first you need to understand the terminology.
So, key followers are representatives of your brand’s audience on social networks or in the blogosphere, who consume your content and actively share the information received with friends. They use sharing and likes for this, publish links, send emails to friends.
If you meet your key followers, you can motivate them to do even more for your brand. To do this, you must constantly thank the key users for the shareings, as well as reward them in one way or another for their loyalty.
Usually you can easily identify such followers. Use the statistics available to administrators of communities on social networks. You can also search for important followers manually. Just see who comments on your notes most often, likes, and shares with your friends.
Having discovered key followers, you can activate them to increase the effectiveness of the content marketing of your project. The following tips will help you do this.
1. Use exclusive content.
Key followers seek to become a source of insider information for their friends and acquaintances. They are happy to distribute information about promotions, contests, new products. These people are in a hurry to transmit to everyone any information about the brand that has not yet been published.
Create exclusive content specifically for key followers. Share these materials only with them. Be sure to let these people know that they are among selected and valued customers. In turn, key followers will immediately distribute exclusive content to their acquaintances, as they increase their reputation by these actions.
American internet marketing company Rio SEO used this advice to promote an industry-specific conference. She offered her key followers to publish on websites, blogs and social profiles a link to the registration form for the participants in the event. Each follower who accepted the offer received a VIP pass to the conference on very favorable terms.
This marketing ploy significantly increased the number of conference attendees. At the same time, visitors to the event site, who followed the links from profiles or blogs of key follofers, became conference participants 37% more often than other visitors.
2. Do not dwell on Facebook, Vkontakte and Twitter
Defining key followers, you probably first of all studied the accounts of your brand in popular social networks. However, the most valuable lawyers of your business are often bloggers and participants in discussions in industry forums.
Follow the blogosphere and participate in discussions in special forums to find people who really love your product and tell friends about it. As soon as you find a blogger promoting your brand, meet him in person. Consider these people your VIP-clients. Show them that you value their work. Offer individual terms of service to such followers.
Personal acquaintance with individual members of your audience and special bonuses for them will bring you better results than mass loyalty programs. Many people will want to become a VIP client and a brand representative when they find out about the possibility of individual service.
3. Determine the most successful followers and motivate them additionally.
Key followers deserve special attention, as they are useful for business. However, they are not all the same.
If you analyze the impact of individual followers on your business, you will notice a phenomenon similar to the “long tail” in retail sales. In this case, we are talking about a relatively small number of users generating the lion's share of social signals and traffic. These users can be called superfollers. They usually have their numerous loyal audience.
Naturally, you should pay maximum attention to the most effective key followers. For example, you can regularly comment on their blogs and distribute their content. So you will thank superfollowers for loyalty.
Consider the most important people from the key followers members of your team, do not miss the opportunity to do something for them. For example, offer superfollowers to get and evaluate a particular product before it appears on the market. Provide these people with the opportunity to shop at your store after hours, give them the right to use the services of your company for free from time to time. Finally, invite superfollowers to a corporate party. In short, find ways to give these people special attention.
Content marketing is not limited to the creation and publication of informative materials. You can increase the effectiveness of this method of business promotion by identifying and activating key members of the audience. In addition, you should establish partnerships with these people and motivate them to constantly spread information about your business.
Create exclusive content for key followers, pay attention to bloggers and discussion participants in special forums, offer customers individual service conditions. Ultimately, this will increase the number of transitions to your site from blogs and social profiles of followers, as well as improve the position of the resource in search results.
Adapt Ben Streily's Content Content Marketing Work: 3 Tips to Activate Your Top Influencers.